By Stephanie Adkison, Kelly Hill and Brittany Hynes – Cougar News Contributors
The ever-expanding population at College of the Canyons has given the campus a more congested feeling. Over 21,000 students are now enrolled at the college, an increase of 67 percent compared to Fall 2001’s enrollment of 12,726. The volume of students has left courses crowded, waitlists full, and instructors overwhelmed with students trying to crash classes. Although these students are from all different age groups, one demographic in particular is making a huge impact on campus—high school students.
The influx of high school students on the College of the Canyons Valencia campus has greatly impacted the campus’s atmosphere. Statistics show the number of students concurrently enrolled in a K-12 school and College of the Canyons has increased 39 percent from Fall 2002 to Fall 2007. More than 6 percent of students at College of the Canyons are now Special Admissions (K-12). The swell reflects increased cooperation and policy changes, such as waiving fees for concurrently enrolled students and giving these students the extra grade point in computing their high school grade point average, as they would get from advanced placement courses.
As Californian’s spirits continue to dwindle over the economy and the budget crisis, many students wonder if it is a good idea to allow the increasing amount of high school students perks such as lower tuition and early enrollment guarantees. “Makes me wish I did what they’re doing when I was in high school. College is expensive,” said Timothy Morse, a new addition to College of the Canyons. “My first few days, I was surprised at how many high schoolers I saw around here.”
One of the main sources supplying College of the Canyons with its high school students is Academy of the Canyons, located on the College of the Canyons Valencia campus. Academy of the Canyons is a middle college high school aimed at incorporating high school and college curriculum. Academy of the Canyons students are concurrently enrolled in high school and college classes providing students with a considerable amount of coursework given at both schools.
Other people believe that having high school students at College of the Canyons is beneficial for both those students and College of the Canyons. Victoria Rubay, a Social Studies teacher at Academy of the Canyons, said, “Our students outperform all other students at the college.” Academy of the Canyons students do, in fact, do better at College of the Canyons than non-high school students. In 2006, the success rate for Academy of the Canyons students was 14 percent higher than other College of the Canyons students. Academy of the Canyons Principal, Jill Shenberger, has full faith in her students. She leads her school with a strong mission statement: “Our students will be capable learners, effective communicators, and conscientious members of society.”
It’s during these hard economic times when students begin to question the integrity of state programs such as those funding Academy of the Canyons. These times of economic struggles may leave students wondering if it is really worth it to continue giving money to support these programs, or if the already crammed enrollment would be benefited by restricting the amount of high school students on the College of the Canyons campuses.